Transport in Paris is easy by metro and buses. Walking and cycling are popular. The city is designed for pedestrians with short distances between sights. The Velib rental bicycles are practical. Avoid driving. The city closed down many streets to car traffic and imposed a 30km speed limit end August 2021. Streets open to traffic are often congested. Trip to Paris.
Many travelers to Paris arrive at one of the two main airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport to the north and Orly Airport to the south. Public transport from the airport is preferable to taxis specially at rush hour. From Charles de Gaulle Airport, take RER B metro to one of the downtown stations. From Orly Airport, take the Val to Antony station, then RER B metro to downtown stations. With heavy luggage, use a door to door airport shuttle. Information about transport to/from Charles de Gaulle Paris Airport and Orly Paris Airport.
During your stay in the city, ride the metro. It is an easy and safe means of transportation. Most Parisians use it daily. To prepare your transportation itinerary in the city, use the metro route finder. Some sights outside the city, such as Fontainebleau, Giverny, Compiègne and Chartres are reachable by train. Use the Paris Visit Travel Pass.
Getting to the city by car can be difficult. Most freeways are at standstill between 7am and 10am. The périphérique, the freeway circling round the city, is a constant traffic jam. Avoid driving in the city as much as you can. The city is giving priority to public transport and bicycles, discouraging as much as it can car traffic. Many streets are now closed to car traffic and a 30km/h speed limit is imposed throughout the city In central Paris, it is almost impossible to drive and impossible to park except in underground parking lots. The traffic is dense and unpredictable, specially at rush hour. Check traffic real time. Book a hotel with private car park or find a public parking near it. Book your parking space in advance.
It is quite practical to come to Paris by train, specially if you have a super fast train connection, as is the case in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and other European cities. Your arrival station will be in downtown Paris: Gare du Nord (Paris map) from London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Koln, Gare de l'Est (Paris map) from Stuttgart, Munchen. Trains from Eastern Europe arrive at Gare de l'Est (Paris map). Trains from Italy arrive at Gare de Lyon (Paris map).
The bus network, althought slightly disregarded, is also an excellent means of transport in Paris. 70 years after the original completion of the bus network, the RATP, managing the network, launched on April 20 2019, a historic modernization to rebalance the network and increase the service offering. This was the biggest change in the Parisian bus network ever done in 70 years. 5 new lines have been created, 50 modified, 3 deleted, 4000 bus stops have been changed. Paris bus network restructuring.
Download printable Paris bus network map.
Paris is crossed by an important network of bike lanes, which grows quickly. These bike lanes, designed for safe cycling, can be found on the side of the road, on the bus lanes or demarcated on certain sidewalks. They are recognizable by the white stripes on the ground, by signs and pictograms representing a bicycle.
Reelected Mayor of Paris in June 2020, Anne Hidalgo accelerated her policy of reducing car traffic and developping cycling. Parking spaces will be halved in five years to enlarge sidewalks. A network of bike lanes to cross Greater Paris, called Vélopolitain, is implemented at a rapid pace.
Download Paris bike lane map.
Many bike shops now rent bikes. Check the local shop. Parisians and visitors also benefit from the Velib rental bikes available from ubiquitous bike stations throughout Grand Paris. The bikes are light and connected which allow them to be geotagged in real time, to display the rental time and the distance traveled during your trip. The data transmitted allows each subscriber to follow his use of Velib. A "full stop" system allows you to drop your bike to a station even when all the locations are already occupied. 30% of the bikes, the blue ones, are equipped with an electric assistance. These models have a USB socket and a case to drop your smartphone. The battery life is 50 kilometers, for a speed of 25km/h. Riding up hill becomes easy for everyone. You will not be afraid to climb up Montmartre hill to admire the view. A "padlock fork" also helps prevent theft. Velib map. Velib Metropole rentals.
Big Bus Tours, the only live guided open-top sightseeing experience in Paris, are practical means of transport. The flexible sightseeing tours allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of the city with ease. Hop on board the double-decker bus, and enjoy fascinating facts and stories as you pass through the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions. You can hop off at 11+ Big Bus stops to explore as often as you like, rejoining the tour at your leisure.
It is difficult to get a taxi on the street in the city. We advise you to book a taxi on line in advance, specially at rush hour. Check G7 (the leader) web site for online taxi booking. Uber cars are widely available. Le Cab is an excellent private driver service.
Taxis are relatively cheap within the city. It will be more expensive when you get out of the city to places like Versailles Palace, Charles de Gaulle Airport or Disneyland Paris as you enter a different tariff zone (get a quote at G7 to evaluate the cost of your taxi ride.).